A collection of four short stories from P. D. James, published together for the first time.
As the acknowledged "Queen of Crime", P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write special short stories for Christmas. Four of the very best of these have been rescued from the archives and are published together. P. D. James' prose illuminates each of these perfectly formed stories, making them ideal listening for the darkest days of the year.
While she delights in the secrets that lurk beneath the surface at enforced family gatherings, her Christmas stories also provide enjoyable puzzles to keep the reader guessing. From the title story about a strained country-house Christmas party to another about an illicit affair that ends in murder and two cases for James' poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh, each treats the reader to James' masterfully atmospheric storytelling, always with the lure of a mystery to be solved.
P. D. James (1920-2014) was born in Oxford and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968, she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Arts and served as a Governor of the BBC; a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of the Literary Advisory Panel; on the Board of the British Council; and as a Magistrate in Middlesex and London. She was an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and The National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (US). She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors and stepped down from the post in August 2013.
"There are very few thriller writers who can compete with P. D. James at her best." (Spectator)
"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime." (Sunday Times)
"P. D. James is simply a wonderful writer." (New York Times Book Review)
"P. D. James is one of the national treasures of British Fiction." (Mail on Sunday)
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